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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Obamacare identical to Massachusetts-a great big #FAIL

For all the warnings and "fear mongering" that was done in the blogosphere about Obamacare and talk of rationing, price controls and ultimately the ruination of the country, we were eviscerated. For all the research and case studies we looked at and then reported back to people we were called stupid. For all the pointing to the British system and saying "They're already denying drugs to people over there because they are too expensive!" we were put on Homeland Security watch lists as possible domestic terrorists. For all the screaming we did, we were told we had nothing to fear; Obamacare would be "just like" the Massachusetts system that is such a great success.

Well guess what? Now the Massachusetts health care system is going bankrupt, politicians are trying to control costs by rationing and price controls and insurers in that state are about to go bankrupt. They also have the highest premiums in the country........hey wait just a stinkin' minute.......

President Obama said earlier this year that the health-care bill that Congress passed three months ago is "essentially identical" to the Massachusetts universal coverage plan that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006. No one but Mr. Romney disagrees.

As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn't be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state's universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.

In the first good news in months, a state appeals board has reversed some of the price controls on the insurance industry that Gov. Deval Patrick imposed earlier this year. Late last month, the panel ruled that the action had no legal basis and ignored "economic realties."

In April, Mr. Patrick's insurance commissioner had rejected 235 of 274 premium increases state insurers had submitted for approval for individuals and small businesses. The carriers said these increases were necessary to cover their expected claims over the coming year, as underlying state health costs continue to rise at 8% annually. By inventing an arbitrary rate cap, the administration was in effect ordering the carriers to sell their products at a loss.

In addition, as I have said hundreds of times, right here on this site-rationing and health control were the goals all along. No longer will the left even concern themselves with talk of lowering health care costs-sorry sweetie, that was never the real goal. When you re-write history, you can say the goal was anything you want it to be.

The deeper problem is that price controls seem to be the only way the political class can salvage a program that was supposed to reduce spending and manifestly has not. Massachusetts now has the highest average premiums in the nation.

In a new paper, Stanford economists John Cogan and Dan Kessler and Glenn Hubbard of Columbia find that the Massachusetts plan increased private employer-sponsored premiums by about 6%. Another study released last week by the state found that the number of people gaming the "individual mandate"—buying insurance only when they are about to incur major medical costs, then dumping coverage—has quadrupled since 2006. State regulators estimate that this amounts to a de facto 1% tax on insurance premiums for everyone else in the individual market and recommend a limited enrollment period to discourage such abuses. (This will be illegal under ObamaCare.)

Liberals write off such consequences as unimportant under the revisionist history that the plan was never meant to reduce costs but only to cover the uninsured. Yet Mr. Romney wrote in these pages shortly after his plan became law that every resident "will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced."
In other words, health reform was a classic bait and switch: Sell a virtually unrepealable entitlement on utterly unrealistic premises and then the political class will eventually be forced to control spending. The likes of Mr. Kingsdale would say cost control is only a matter of technocratic judgment, but the raw dirigisme of Mr. Patrick's price controls is a better indicator of what happens when health care is in the custody of elected officials rather than a market.

Well, there you go. There it is in black and white. I wonder how all those folks will feel when it is their child, parent or even themselves who suffer at the hand of the rationing class.

Massachusetts health care system is a great big #FAIL. We don't want or need this as a nation, but we have little control over what the nation as a whole is going to do.

If you really want to be protected, take action at the State level as we have here in Missouri. Not only are we going to vote in August to protect our citizens from this health care travesty, but as announced today, our Lt. Governor Peter Kinder will be suing the Obama Administration for the unconstitutionality of Obamacare. Help them out-they're not using tax payer money for this suit.

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